Georgia Attorneys Resolve FLSA White Collar Exemption Disputes

Representing Atlanta clients in wage and overtime cases

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law which requires employers to pay most employees at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked. The Act also requires overtime to be paid for any hours after the first 40 hours in one workweek. Overtime pay must be at least one and one half times an employee’s normal rate.

There are some exceptions to this law. They are known as white collar exemptions. Workers and employers frequently clash over whether a worker qualifies for unemployment pay or if the employer is exempt from paying. DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC represents employees in the Atlanta area who are involved in a dispute about the white collar exemptions to overtime pay.

Understanding the FLSA white collar exemptions

The FLSA exemptions are intended to protect most employees against employers who want to avoid paying overtime. Employers often claim that workers are exempt from overtime simply because they have been given the title of manager. The legal tests to determine exemption are more complex than simply looking at job titles. Employees must meet a salary test and a duties test in order to be exempted. Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides exemptions to those employed as bona fide executive, professional, administrative or outside sales employees. Our attorneys use all available evidence and precedent to help you prove your case.

The salary basis test requires the employee to be paid a weekly wage

In order to qualify for exemption, a worker normally needs to make at least $684 each week as a salary. This means they must be paid a predetermined amount each week or pay period. This amount cannot vary based on the quantity or quality of work performed in a given week. The law allows for deductions due to certain absences when determining if the payment is in fact a salary. Our attorneys help workers and employers determine whether the wage in question is a salary, a commission or an hourly wage.

The duties test determines whether an employee’s job function is exempt

In addition to being paid a salary, a worker must also have certain job duties for an employer to be exempt under the FLSA. These duties generally include high-level work that is essential to an employer’s overall operation. In order for an employer to be exempt from paying overtime, a worker’s duties must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Executive employee. This exemption applies when workers manage the business or a department or subdivision of the enterprise. The employee must direct the work of at least two full-time employees and have authority to hire and fire employees or his/her recommendations on hiring and firing are given particular weight. Our attorneys help clients understand the complex requirements of each part of this exemption.
  • Administrative employee. These employees must have as their primary duty the performance of office or non-manual work which is directly related to management or general business operations of the employer or its customers and  whose primary duties include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
  • Professional employees. Two categories of employees are covered by this exemption. Learned professional employees must perform work requiring knowledge or education of an advanced type in a field of science or learning acquired by a prolonged course of intellectual instruction. Typically, these jobs require that the employee obtain a four year college degree. Creative professional employees must perform as their primary duty job function that requires invention, imagination or originality in an artistic or creative endeavor.

These exemptions are fraught with exceptions causing many possible points of contention between employer and employee. Our firm develops clear and well-founded strategies to help clients prevail in Atlanta white collar exemption cases.

Contact an Atlanta law firm with the experience to handle white collar exemption cases

At the Atlanta firm of DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC, we are dedicated to getting justice for our clients in employment disputes. Our Georgia attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in overtime and wage claims. To learn more, call us at 470-443-0524 or contact us online.